Experts also say “Don’t ban cycling on a Sunday in Bridge Street!”


In an article published on the Peterborough Environment City Trusts website a statement from Sustrans reads:

“Peterborough is taking positive steps to encourage cycling through the Travelchoice project, but we are worried that this could be undermined by not making adequate allowance for cyclists in and around the City Centre. Bridge Street is at the centre of the cycle network developed for the city and is an important link for hundreds of people who are cycling to work and school each day, or even just popping to the shops.”

They point out that when the Development Corporation designed the City Cycle Network and removed car traffic from Bridge Street they included Bridge Street as the main north-south cycle route in the city centre. They considered options for building a dedicated cycle route along Bridge Street, but felt that this was incompatible with the need to have a flexible public space. The Development Corporation did not make any alternative provision for cyclists to avoid Bridge Street and there is still no good alternative, because the Corporation allowed for cycling at all times and understood the evidence that this could work well as a shared space.

Other snippets included:

  • Sustrans does not believe that introducing a ban on Sundays to the other days “…is necessarily the best option.”
  • Cambridge found that lifting cycling restrictions was the best option and if an investigation were done, Peterborough would find that the evidence points the same way.
  • The justification for the proposal is that “It is not acceptable to cycle on a busy pedestrianised street. It is not safe for the pedestrian or the cyclist.  Cyclists should therefore dismount and push their bikes along Bridge Street which only takes a couple of minutes.” This does seem to be entirely at odds with Council transport policies and guidance and has major issues for the whole city. The most successful part of the City Centre is surely Cathedral Square where cyclists and pedestrians generally mix well and there are no restrictions. The impressive Bourges Boulevard scheme is currently removing segregated cycling and walking facilities and replacing them with shared facilities, because this is considered good practice.
  • An important issue that seems not to have been considered in this debate is that cyclists can also be City Centre customers. Many cyclists will be using Bridge Street as a through route but others who want to enjoy the street can be valuable customers. Research has shown that shops significantly underestimate the value of business from cyclists and this also needs to be considered.
  • We are keen to emphasise that the research and “…the Council’s own Cycling Design Guidelines has shown that cyclists can mix harmoniously with pedestrians.”

Sustrans concluded, “We do not believe that any changes should be introduced without a review of the whole City Centre in line with the Council’s transport policies and an analysis of what the issues are currently on Sundays.  We are surprised that the Council should consider promoting an order that seems to be completely contrary to their own policies and wonder  how this can have happened.”

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